Runway refurb at DXB will see the southern runway closed for 45 days

Posted: 21 February 2019 | | No comments yet

While the runway at Dubai International Airport (DXB) is out of action for much needed refurbishment, traffic at Dubai World Central (DWC) is expected to increase by 700 per cent.


The closure, between 16 April to 30 May 2019, will reduce the hub airport’s capacity; making DWC an attractive alternative to absorb affected scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation operations.

Although DXB will effectively be without 50 per cent of its runways, the actual reduction in passenger flights will only be 32 per cent thanks to an optimised schedule that will see the northern runway used to 96 per cent of its capacity. Due to the deployment of larger aircraft by some airlines during the closure period, the number of seats will only decrease by 26 per cent. Finally, thanks to the additional capacity provided by DWC, the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of just 10 per cent and a seat reduction of just 11 per cent.

The schedule has been almost a year in the making as Dubai Airports engaged all airlines in April 2018 to adjust their schedules versus the six-month period typically required by IATA and ICAO. An independent slot coordinator was appointed to oversee this process and rules were applied equally to all passenger airlines. 

Paul Griffiths, CEO at Dubai Airports, said: “We’re pleased that we have managed to maintain as much choice as possible for customers. The most significant change for passengers during the period will be the need to confirm the airport that they travelling to or from. That said, we’re confident customers and airlines will be impressed by the speed, efficiency and convenience of Dubai’s second airport.  It’s a great opportunity to showcase DWC’s newly expanded facilities that can now accommodate up to 26.5 million passengers annually and we’re confident that it will shine.” 

During the 45-day period, DWC will see an average of 158 passenger flight movements per day operated by two charter carriers and 16 scheduled airlines including flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Condor, Air India, Air India Express, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Royal Jordanian, Himalaya Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Salam Air, Mahan Air, flynas, and Azur Air. 

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority will provide a fully integrated ground transportation solution for DWC with a regular bus service from key locations in Dubai and a dedicated fleet of taxis serving the airport. Dubai Airports will also have an express bus service operating between DXB and DWC every 30 minutes departing from DXB Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Customers will also be able to take advantage of the free shaded parking at DWC’s 2,500 capacity car park. 

As the site of numerous large-scale engineering programmes, including the upgrade of the northern runway in 2014, DXB’s operational, construction and engineering teams are well versed in handling the challenges presented by massive, complex undertakings such as the upcoming refurbishment programme. 

At peak times, more than 90 construction vehicles per hour will enter and exit the airport, adding additional traffic to the roads around DXB. More than 18,500 truckloads of concrete, asphalt, materials and personnel will need to be transported to and from the airport for the duration of the runway refurbishment programme. More than 1,900 employees will be involved in the project.

To reduce the already minimal risk of construction overrun, Dubai Airports has started a number of works in advance of the full runway closure. Dubai Airports has also identified work packages that are not critical to the completion and safe recommissioning of the new runways and which can be completed once the runway has returned to normal operation.  This will provide a safety buffer should there be any unexpected delays, allowing non-essential work to be completed after the 45 days.

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